Blogs > Liberty and Power > Putin Warns Against Socialism (Obama Style)

Feb 18, 2009 5:45 pm

Putin Warns Against Socialism (Obama Style)

Right now, defenders of the free market need all the friends we can get. Speaking frome experience, the former of the KGB offers some common sense:
Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin has said the US should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.

“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” Putin said during a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”...

Sounding more like Barry Goldwater than the former head of the KGB, Putin said, “Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors, and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.”

Putin also echoed the words of conservative maverick Ron Paul when he said, “we must assess the real situation and write off all hopeless debts and ‘bad’ assets. True, this will be an extremely painful and unpleasant process. Far from everyone can accept such measures, fearing for their capitalization, bonuses, or reputation. However, we would ‘conserve’ and prolong the crisis, unless we clean up our balance sheets.”

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Bogdan Enache - 2/19/2009

I doubt Putin has any idea of free market principles, at least if they might be incompatible with the renationalisation of the gas and oil industry and so on; anyway, here's more evidence that he's hardly the posterboy for the prototype of the freedomloving politician :

Keith Halderman - 2/19/2009

Do you think there is any chance the Russians would trade leaders with us?

William Marina - 2/19/2009

Around the Globe, one sees variants of Corporatism, or as some like to call it, State
Capitalism, both varieties of an earlier Mercantilism. To call this a "failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism," as Roubini does in Forbes today is, of course, nonsense. When has any nation in Western Civilization and beyond ever had that kind of political economy?

tfr - 2/19/2009

If you trace the links, you can hit the original Wall St. Journal article which list his entire speech.
He talks a good game. I wish I was hearing some of that from our "leaders".